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Blues will face Sharks or Predators in Western Final

St. Louis hosts winner of other second-round series Sunday in Game 1

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

The St. Louis Blues advanced to the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2001 with a 6-1 win against the Dallas Stars in Game 7 of the second round at American Airlines Center on Wednesday.

The Blues will play the San Jose Sharks or Nashville Predators in the conference final. That best-of-7 series is tied 3-3 with Game 7 at SAP Center on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).

Game 1 of the Western Final is at St. Louis on Sunday.

St. Louis has not advanced to the Stanley Cup Final since 1970. The Blues made the Final in each of their first three seasons in the NHL (1968-70), but were swept each time. They lost the 2001 Western Final to the Colorado Avalanche in five games.

St. Louis and San Jose have played four times in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, each winning twice. The Blues won the most recent series, the 2012 conference quarterfinals, in five games.

The Blues and Predators have never played in the postseason.

Forward Vladimir Tarasenko leads the Blues with seven playoff goals and has six assists; center Robby Fabbri also has 13 points (three goals, 10 assists). Forward David Backes has 12 points (six goals, six assists), and forward Jaden Schwartz has 11 (three goals, eight assists).

Brian Elliott has started all 14 playoff games (8-6, 2.29 goals-against average, .929 save percentage).

Video: STL@DAL, Gm7: Elliott extends pad for toe save

St. Louis lost two of three games to San Jose in the regular season, losing twice at home and winning 1-0 in San Jose on March 22. Defenseman Jay Bouwmeester (two goals, one assist) and Tarasenko (one goal, two assists) each had three points. Elliott (1-1-0) allowed six goals on 84 shots, and Jake Allen stopped 15 of 17 shots in relief of Elliott in a 6-3 loss at Scottrade Center on Feb. 22.

San Jose center Joe Thornton had three goals and two assists against the Blues. Forward Joe Pavelski and defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic each had three assists. Goalie Martin Jones was 2-1-0 with a 1.68 goals-against average and .937 save percentage.

The Blues were 4-1-0 against the Predators during the regular season. Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo had a goal and four assists; forward Alexander Steen had two goals and two assists. Allen was 3-1-0 with a 2.19 GAA and .938 save percentage, including a 45-save shutout on Nov. 7 at Bridgestone Arena. Elliott stopped 16 shots in a 1-0 win on Feb. 2 in Nashville.

Nashville forward Filip Forsberg had three goals and two assists against St. Louis, and center Mike Ribeiro had three assists. Goalie Pekka Rinne started four games and was 1-3-0, allowing seven goals.

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